Case Study : Suicidal Risk

Case Study : Suicidal Risk


The employee called Careways after attempting to end her life by slitting her wrists. The suicide attempt was precipitated by a drug abuse relapse. The individual had been struggling with a heroin addiction for several years and the latest relapse had caused feelings of guilt and self-loathing which in turn resulted in suicidal ideation and an attempt to take her life.


The Careways care consultant conducted a risk assessment during the initial telephonic consultation and an immediate referral for face-to-face counselling with a Careways wellness practitioner was made.

During the therapeutic intervention it became evident that the employee’s marital relationship had deteriorated during recent months, which led to her use of heroin to escape the strained relationship. In addition, her marital challenges and drug use had resulted in increased absenteeism and a decline in productivity within the work environment.

The wellness practitioner focused on containment, unpacking the triggers of drug abuse, strategies for dealing with drug abuse and setting boundaries in place within the marital relationship. It was also evident that the individual was struggling with depressive symptoms and a referral to a specialist was made for treatment and monitoring of depression.


The employee attended five counselling sessions and at completion of the therapeutic process showed significant improvement in her coping ability.

Employee’s feedback

I was really anxious before my first session, but the counsellor made me feel at ease and didn’t judge my actions or decisions. Instead, she listened and asked questions that really made me think.

I was able to see that I often used heroin after fights with my husband. I also realised that my addiction had started impacting on my relationship with my parents and my work performance. I was not going to work every day and when I was there, I could only think of my next fix. I didn’t really want to end my life, I just wanted help.

The counsellor helped me to make contact with the support group and I am still attending meetings. I attended five sessions with the counsellors and during our sessions I realised that heroin is not the crutch or escape I need, but rather the hurdle that stands in the way of my happiness. I also spoke to my husband and we are now going for couples counselling. I really feel that Careways helped me to deal with problems more effectively.

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